When we consider the busiest airport hubs for air freight in the United States some may tend to naturally assume the airports serving the largest cities will dominate the list. The reality is that the monumental impact of FedEX and UPS dominate the landscape to such an extent that otherwise lesser known airports reside at the top of the list for annual air cargo tonnage.
The 2014 annual air freight tonnage results are now published and I wanted to look at the top five airports in the United States and also where they stand in terms of global rank along with any changes over 2013. With no further delay here are the top five for 2014.
- Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN - Global rank #2. As the global cargo hub for FedEx, Memphis remains the busiest air cargo airport for tonnage in the country and second busiest in the world behind only Hong Kong. In fact, Memphis occupied the global top spot on an annual basis for many years until 2010. 2014 tonnage 4,258,530 +2.9% versus 2013.
- Ted Stevens International Airport, Anchorage, AK - Anchorage ranks so high due to international freight heading to and from Asia and acts as a major hub for both FedEX and UPS. In terms of the overall mix at the airport Anchorage handles infinitely more packages each year than passengers. Global rank #5. 2014 tonnage 2,482,153 +2.5% versus 2013.
- Louisville International Airport, Louisville, KY- UPS use Louisville as their global freight hub, an amazing facility that can handle over 400,000 packages per hour and employs more than 20,000. The facility is beyond large occupying some 5.2 million square feet. Global rank #7. 2014 tonnage 2,293,134 +3.5% versus 2013.
- Miami International Airport, Miami, FL - As a major gateway to both the Caribbean and Latin America, Miami's stock in air freight has been growing consistently for decades. In total, some 96 different carriers have air freight operations at the airport. Global rank #11. 2014 tonnage 1,998,782 +0.0% versus 2013.
- Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CA - As one of the world's busiest international passenger airports it's no surprise that LAX also handles a remarkable amount of air cargo. The airport boasts more than 2 million square feet of cargo facilities and is a leading staging point for transpacific operations for both American and Asian cargo carriers. Global rank #15. 2014 tonnage 1,818,766 +3.7% versus 2013.
Just beyond the top five sit Chicago's O'Hare at 1.67M tonnes, JFK in New York at 1.31M tonnes and Indianapolis as the global hub for UPS at 1.0M tonnes.